Magmatic has lost its appeal to the Supreme Court – see link above. This means that design protection has become very narrow indeed. The decision makes it clear that designs do not cover product “innovation” but instead covers the precise representation of the design. Therefore if you have products of a similar design shape but the surface decoration is different there will be no infringement.
This is not a good day for designers but I guess the Courts are looking at the balance of costs and the market in line with TRIPS which balances the rights of rights holders against society as a whole. Basically it is making sure there is enough competition to ensure that prices are not too high. Seems at odds with the whole idea of the IP system but hey hum….
Thanks to Sue Ratcliffe for this one.